Triplogs / Triplog#11 / Day 2 / Days 3&4 / Days 5&6 / Days 7&8 / Days 9-11 / Days 12-16 / Days 17-20
Kiosk(IN) - Maple Cr - Ratrap L - 3 Mile L - Wahwahtaysee L - 1 Mile L - Erables L - Maple L - Kiosk(OUT)
Days 17 to 20 - Maple Lake to Kiosk
I was awakened at 5:45am that morning, by a truck coming down the AFA road.
I could here him coming for a full 10 minutes before he passed by, in my general vicinity. With in five minutes of the truck passing another heavier(Diesel) truck approached. Why so damned early? An hour later, I heard the distinct sound of transmission brakes being used by the big diesel truck. Ya know that loud low throbbing, 'burrrrrrrrr, ummm, burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr' sound? I was very angry now!
I absolutely detested that sound. That sound in my mind was synonymous with city noise.
This reminds me, that yesterday, I was over at the portage, to Erables Lake.
Just hanging around looking for Moose. A pickup truck drove by. Aughhh! Obviously, camping near an AFA road has it's disadvantages. I swore from now on, I'd be more careful when selecting my routes and campsites, whereas proximity to AFA roads were concerned.
Yet another fine sunset
Sunset water colours
It was another great day weather wise, and I just lounged around camp. There was a lot of big Cumulus clouds to the southwest, that were stacking up in vertical towers. hmmm, Thunderstorms, I thought. Yippie and oh no!
As it turned out no storms came, although the wind did pickup that day.
A while later the colours of the sunset deepened
I was awoken at 4:30am, to the rumble of thunder. I stepped outside, and watched flashes of lightning, light up the western horizon. By 5:15am the storm hit. It rained very heavy for 3 hrs. I sat in my tent, waiting the storm out, jumping at the occasional loud crack of thunder. It was intense at times, and the rivers of water under my tent alarmed me, but thanks to the ground sheet I had laid down, myself and my gear stayed dry. The storm moved off by 9:00am, and I stepped outside to a partly sunny morning, but the sky for the most part was fragmented, and more storms looked to be on their way.
At 12:00pm another storm blew in, and lasted for 2 hours, there wasn't much thunder or lightning, but again there was a lot of rain. No more worries about a fire ban.
more storm clouds rolled by
Storm clouds continued to threaten throughout the day
After 2:00pm, the sun popped out and 2 trucks moved along the AFA road. One of the trucks, honking it's horn, at a group of girls, causing them to scream in mock terror. Minutes later several canoes loaded with young girls, no doubt from a girls camp in the south, headed to the north end of Maple Lake. All in all I heard about a dozen trucks go by on the AFA road this day, all in the space of one hour. Busy day that day on Maple Lake.
I saw a moose, feeding in the shallows, to the south west of my island, beside the outflow of Maple Creek. It hung around in the early afternoon, then disappeared into the bush. It seemed funny how after 8 or 10 steps in, I couldn't hear it anymore.
This storm dumped a lot of rain
Cow Moose feeding on the shoreline across from camp
A few hours later, at 5:00pm or so, I heard some cracking of branches, I looked over, I saw the moose emerging from the underbrush. The moose hadn't left! It just went into the bush and rested for a few hours before coming back for more food. Another storm came and went, dumping a lot of rain in a short period of time.
Rainbow - After the last storm of the day
Rush hour on Maple Lake
It became cool and a breeze developed that afternoon. At 6:30pm, I saw five more canoes, from a boys camp I guess, coming from Ratrap Lake. They passed me by, and headed down to Erables Lake, more canoes headed north out of Erables. 8:30pm, the wind died down, but it was very cool. The water was very calm, and I went out for an evening paddle.
The south island campsite
A quiet paddle on a calm evening
Last nite, while in my tent preparing for sleep, I heard another tree fall on the mainland. Today was a clear and very cool windy day. I heard another heavy diesel truck approach, and again that horrible transmission braking noise. I went for a quick paddle to shore and stocked up on wood. I left a lot of wood for the next occupants. They were gonna love me! Clouds moved in before sunset, as I packed up as much as I could before next morning's move.
Modest woodpile - left behind for the next occupants
Last sunset on Maple Lake
Picture of Maple Creek - without the overwhelming unseen noise
At 1:15am in the morning I was woken up by the sound of rain. It rained till 3:30am, sometimes the rain was heavy, and coupled with heavy winds, made for a sleepless night. At 3:45am I heard a heavy truck, coming down the road. 3:45am!!?? What the hell? don't they have any respect for the sleeping hours?
I heard another one an hour later at 4:45am, then 5:00am, then 6:00am and 7:00am, and yet again at 7:45am. Can you believe this crap?
I was so infuriated at this point, I was of the mindset of going over and planting my body in the path of the next vehicle coming down the road. I wanted to rip someone a new hide.
Getting a hold of my emotions, I thought otherwise, and packed up my gear, This day I was scheduled to leave Maple Lake, and head down to Kiosk for 3 nites camping on that lake.
Pretty Flower - unidentified
By 9:00am I was on my way, heading north. Then I heard the distinct sound of logging machinery humming away. As far as I knew, there wasn't supposed to be any logging around Maple Lake. It was to have been finished around this area.
A few sunshowers followed me down a portage
Falls at the Kiosk end of the 630m portage
My trip down Maple Creek, was interesting. A party of many canoes, passed me by, and complained 'bout the logging noise as well on Maple Lake. They also heard the 'beep' 'beep' of reversing vehicles, that I heard the night before. Paddling down Maple Creek, there was more logging noise, and it followed me all the way down to the foot of the last portage. I was not a happy camper. On the way down I noticed, that the creek was much higher, and in several spots, I had the benefit of fast flowing water to help me on my way. At one point, I came to a bend and a beaver dam. It was such a small dam, I tried crossing it, with one foot in and one foot out. Suddenly I heard branches rustling above me. I looked up. Whoa! There was a cow moose, browsing on the bush, overhanging right above me. I'd never been this close to a moose. I was freaked out.
Nearby was a calf. This was fantastic. Surprisingly, the moose didn't do a thing. I started to move by the Cow moose and still nothing happened. Both the cow and the calf, continued to give me that famous moose stare. Then I opened my mouth and said, 'It's okay, I'm just passing by'. As soon as I said this, both Cow and calf, went into retreat. Following the shore, then crossing the creek. Junior lagging behind to get a few more glimpses of me. Eventually they were gone, but not before I snapped a few pictures. What an encounter!
Remnants of an old ranger cabin along the last portage to Kiosk
A while later, I arrived at the last portage(775m) to Kiosk. I could still hear the machinery, as I picked a bunch of wild raspberries. The was a huge patch there. While digging thru the lower branches, I heard something shuffle in the grass. Camera in hand, I saw two garter snakes. One of them a mother, she had a brood as well. Lots of tiny snakes all around her. I headed down the final portage, finally arriving and ready to launch on Kiosk at approx. 4:30pm.
Under gray and windy skies I headed home
It was a gray afternoon, with winds making waves on Kiosk. As I navigated thru the deadheads in the bay, the wind increased. I grew concerned. The south shore was just a thundering with backsplash waves. I decided to head to the north shore, to the leeward side of the wind tunnel. I got about halfway, when I just became too tired to battle the waves and the wind pushing at me from the side.
I turned and faced east towards the permit office. Paddling along every site that came into view along the south shore was occupied. I was tired and fed up with the noise of logging associated operations, and decided then and there, I just wanted to leave. What a way to end an otherwise successful trip, to have it tainted by the very thing I was trying to escape. Noise!
Foolishly, I continued to stay out in the middle of the lake. I just pointed my canoe at the boat launch & beach at the permit office and paddled. The wind was at my back, but the waves keep wanting to push me off towards the south shore. It was foolish to be out in the middle of the lake, however I was managing well, and as it was I made it no problem to land. If the wind and waves had increased 2 fold at anytime, I'm sure I would've upset.
I saw one group of campers out on their shoreline watching me, and I realized they were wondering what the hell I was doing? Being foolish, of course! It was a long 40 minute paddle.
When I reached the permit office, I spoke to 'Lucy' about my concerns. She was surprised, and concurred with me, saying that there wasn't supposed to be any logging going on around Maple Lake. 'Lucy' also told me, that I was not the first paddler that day to complain about the noise. So...I wasn't such a hot head, imagining things after all.
I was told that If I wanted action, I should write my concerns on the back of my permit. 'Lucy' was telling me that this way, my complaint would be addressed. There wasn't enough room on my permit! I filled out some on the front too.
Loading my car, I headed home. I just couldn't stay away though, and two weeks later I was back in The Park!
Some lessons learned on this trip.
Triple portaging is insane!
Way too much weight;
I packed too much food, way too many fuel canisters, and too much toilet paper.
Carrying around a studio tripod, was just too heavy. I could've packed a small fold up stool, much lighter than a walmart chair.
Panic and thirst, made me forgetful - fear of getting beaver fever from creek water, I failed to utilize the options I had on hand. For example to be sure of clean water, I could've filtered and then boiled the water. Severe oversight.
Halfway through a trip(especially) a long one, It's a good idea to do a full equipment check. This way, I would've found the extra flashlight I had forgotten about, in my marine safety kit.
Although I wore my pfd about 80% of the time, I never tested it.
Planning a route/camping next to logging roads - I was just asking for noise!
Paddling in the middle of a windy lake is dangerous - I must stop this practice.
My pace was deliberate and very slow. Sometimes too slow. I'd rather have stayed on Wahwahtaysee and One Mile Lakes, one nite each than the 2 nites I spent on each lake.
8 Nites on Maple was fun, but it did get boring at times. 8 Nites on one lake alone, was too long. I could've moved faster, but being solo for such a great length of time, I decided to play it safe.
During the 20 day trip, I lost 22 lbs! A combination of both a low fat diet and some really vigorous exercise, courtesy of triple portaging.
I learned alot this trip, and look forward to another long one, without the triple portaging of course!